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SVP Commitments: Conditions of Confinement: Involuntary Medication

State v. Anthony D.B., 2000 WI 94, ¶11, 237 Wis. 2d 1, 614 N.W.2d 435
For Anthony D.B.: Ellen Henak, SPD, Milwaukee Appellate

Issue: Whether a circuit court has authority, on a Ch. 980 commitment, to order involuntary medication.

Holding: “Because those individuals committed under ch. 980 are defined as ‘patients’ in Wis. Stat. § 51.61(1), we hold that the statutory provision in § 51.61(1)(g), authorizing a court to order medication regardless of the patient’s consent, along with the relevant provisions of Wis. Stat. § 51.20, apply.”

The court again stresses treatment as the underlying purpose of Ch. 980. ¶12. Individuals committed under 980 are entitled to § 51.61 patients’ rights, including the right to a hearing on competency to refuse medication. ¶¶13-14. “Section 51.61 provides patients with the right to make informed decisions regarding medication, except in those circumstances where, following a constitutionally sufficient procedure, the patient is determined to be not competent to refuse medication. Under these circumstances, § 51.61 (1)(g) authorizes orders for involuntary administration of medication for individuals committed under ch. 980.” ¶15. Patients have a due process right to regular review of involuntary medication. ¶¶27. Though the statutes don’t explicitly provide for such review in 980 cases, the court carves out review as part of the periodic review of the commitment under § 980.07. ¶31. Three points are essential to review. 1) Compliance with § 51.20(5) (right to counsel; open hearing with option to request closed hearing; rights to silence and present and cross-examine witnesses; but no jury trial); 2) right to petition the court for review of the medication order; 3) expiration of the medication order unless it receives periodic review. ¶¶32-34.

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